Anthropology Closing the Gap on Genealogy

I was looking at my most recent map of people who are roughly like me at FTDNA who are also U106. It looks much like my other maps but just a little more focused. Having those extra four STRs from FTDNA really culled my matches down quite a bit. Still it’s broadly German and English. Many of these people are also members of R1b-Z18 and a few are part of R1b-Z14 which are both under U106.

These are again people who match my “pattern” roughly, there are some markers off but overall they seem like me. I’ve color coded them so that Blue are just those with my rough pattern, Red are matches from FTDNA at 25 markers and the single Yellow is my match at 37 STRs or markers..I use those interchangeably.

When I talk about people matching my pattern, it means the pattern of short tandem repeats in my YDNA. Here is an example of several people who are in R1b-Z14:

Notice number two through four from the top down. They seem to have several markers or STRs in common, while the top one has many in common but not as many as the the three below seem to share with each other. You can begin to see a pattern in those last three that the first one doesn’t follow. Notice also that the second one has more differentiation from the two below it. Those last two are very similar. At this level they only have one marker different. That is a closer match for STRs. My map above would contain 2 – 4 because they seem to form a rough group. Those STRs “suggest” a relationship. The closer the STRs the closer the suspected relationship.

I also talk a lot about SNPs. Single nucleotide polymorphisms don’t just suggest a relationship they are the evidence of a relationship. People who share a Y SNP are definitely related to the same man, although it may be thousands of years in the past. It happens that in my example above, all those patterns in Y DNA are also people who carry the R1b-Z14 SNP. So I am related to all of them. At some point we all share a common male ancestor…of course that ancestor could be any time between now and about 0AD when it is thought the parent SNP Z18 came into being. Z14 itself has children which are younger than it. Here is an image of the ISOGG YDNA tree for my branch of  U106 as it stands today. Keep in mind that this tree is always changing as new things are learned. So like any family tree, it grows.

So there you can see U106 which I tested for with 23 and me (23 the north sea and me). Z18 is beneath that at about 2000 years old. Then Z14 is Z18’s child. Beneath Z14 is Z372 and it’s child (so far) L257. I’ve seen L257’s age estimated at 1500 years ago. So somewhere between 1500 and 2000 years ago is Z14.

An actual map of people in R1b-Z18 or R1b-Z14 would probably look remarkably like my other maps here. Broadly “Germanic” with people in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, England, Scotland, Ireland, Poland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland, Latvia and France. There aren’t a ton of people tested in Z14 and Z18 so it appears more scattered and sparse than it actually may be. It is also basically the geographic area covered by U106 itself.

Here is an interesting map of Europe I found with rough borders for different groups about 1500 years ago:

You can see the Angles and Saxons right there on the top of Germany and eating into Denmark and then in Britain the Angles and the Saxons occupying the same sort of vertical space on the east coast. Angles are purple, Saxons..kind of puke mustard colored. U106, Z18 and Z14 would be represented in many of these groups and many that aren’t on the map in Scandinavia.

What can we do to get closer than 1500 to 2000 years ago? Well, for that we go back to the STRs and suggested relationships. If I hone down my map to show just those people who match closely enough for FTDNA to list them in my matches at 25 and 37 markers I get something like this with the red dots being 25 matches and the yellow dot my 37 match:

This represents only my matches at FTDNA, both 25 and 37. All the dots except my friend in Germany there have tested Z18 positive. The yellow dot is Z14 positive.

It’s possible that at the next test up I could gain or lose matches and that’s the next recommended test for me. This is basically why I’ve picked out the Saxons for us. I don’t think these groups are small enough to differentiate between an Angle and a Saxon and  I don’t think the lines between people are as cut and dry as maps make them. You can get a rough idea though that people most like me are most likely in Britain, but also probably Germany. This could represent genetic evidence of the Anglo Saxon invasion of Britain or it could represent some later migration of “Germans” to England. Right now, given the ages of SNPs involved the consensus seems to be Anglo Saxons.

As things progress we may find further SNPs to split this group up and get tighter timeframes. Y SNPs will eventually enter the genealogical timeframe. When I started I was at cave paintings with R1b. Last year I was at 5000 years ago with prehistoric “Germanic” cultures and R1b-U106. Now I’m at 0 to 500AD, the fall of the Roman empire, Germanic migrations and the Anglo Saxon invasions with R1b-Z14. That’s a huge leap in a few years.

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